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A full 33-45% of small business owners do not have a website. While relying on word-of-mouth in small communities may seem sufficient, research shows that is just not true. CNBC compares having a website to having a business card. In other words, it is conspicuous not to have one. It stands out–in a bad way.

Here are the reasons you need a business website in 2020, and why it can be just as important as tried-and-true business cards.

You Want To Show Up in Local Search Results

More often than not, consumers search for a business online before ever stepping foot inside. That means, without a website, you risk not showing up in local results and potentially turning customers away after a quick Google or Yelp search. If you do show up, searches may be limited to your company name, phone number, and address, if that information is publicly available. In any case, not being able to see pictures, logos, reviews, and/or get a feel for your company on the web will discourage or deter potential customers. As many as 30% of U.S. men and women say they give up on businesses altogether if it does not have a website.

Websites Establish Credibility

Customers are more likely to trust you if you have a website. Period. A website gives you an even greater opportunity to build your brand. A simple homepage reinforces your value and/or product and establishes a necessary amount of professionalism.

Plus, creating a website is not as expensive or complex as it used to be. Consumers value utility above all else. That is why a straightforward page with product information, menus, business hours, addresses and contact information, a brief history or mission statement, and reviews or testimonials is all it takes to create a professional image. If you are not particularly Internet savvy, don’t worry. Web design services and custom web designers can tackle these pages for you. Web design services can help you build reasonably-priced pages, keep designs attractive, utilitarian, and simple, and answer any questions you may have, like why you need a mobile-friendly website.

Don’t Miss Important Marketing Opportunities

Business owners who use content generate up to three times as many leads than those who don’t. Without content, you are practically throwing potential sales away. Compelling content that is useful and free of grammatical errors drastically improves your search rankings, helping you climb higher up on search engine result pages. Customers who come across information that helps them or sells them are more likely to purchase your product.

Internet marketing works the opposite way, too. While neglecting to have a business website may turn away customers, having a website with engaging content on the front page of search engines can help you make sales or win over customers before they visit your physical location.

If writing and organically incorporating keywords and other search engine optimization (SEO) marketing tactics is outside of your area of expertise, web design services also offer packages that take on content and premium SEO marketing for you.

Websites Win Over Repeat Customers

Without a website, a customer may visit your physical location, forget exactly where it is located, and never show up again, even if he or she wanted to. Maybe customers have a question pertaining to your services and the answer may determine whether or not they give you business. For example, a concerned parent may query restaurants to see if they have gluten-free options to accommodate their child with celiac disease. If this information is not readily available or the restaurant is not easy to reach through a quick chat, email, or phone call, they may bring their business elsewhere.

Web design services stress the importance of an easy-to-navigate contact page. This gives your customers a way of contacting and locating you, asking questions, or leaving their email and/or phone number for future communications.

Do not lose customers before they even step foot in the door. Contact local web design services today, and ask them to help you get a business website up and running as soon as possible!